People will be hit with higher energy prices 'well into next year', according to Conor Pope.
The consumer affairs correspondent with the Irish Times says this is due to several factors, which is culminating in a 'perfect storm of miserableness'.
He told The Hard Shoulder: "It does look like we're going to be hit with another raft of energy price increases in the new year.
"That's because of multiple different factors - some of them have been at play for quite a long time".
He says supply levels of natural gas in Europe are at historic lows, and shipments are at an all-time low because of a spike in demand from Asia.
While a lag with a new pipeline from Russia means any respite has been delayed.
"There was this big hope that a massive pipeline - coming from Russia into Germany and then across Europe - was going to soften the blow when it comes to supply chain issues for natural gas.
"But it really hasn't delivered yet - now it probably will at some point in the future, all things going well... but it hasn't yet".
While some experts say the wholesale price of natural gas has gone up by 10% in recent days, Conor believes this will have a knock-on effect.
"It's not like there's been any price increases announced by Irish energy providers.
"But given that such a huge percentage of our energy bills comes from natural gas - I think 40% or 45% of the total national grid is powered by gas - it's going to have a knock-on effect in the weeks ahead".
'Adding €1,000 to annual costs'
And he says around 40 different price increases by utility companies since the start of the year are adding up.
"It's adding between €500 or even more than €1,000 on to the annual costs of some people's energy bills.
"So it's a pretty miserable time, to be honest".
Asked how long high prices will be in place, Conor says: "It'll be well into next year - that's the simple answer - and it then really does depend on supply and demand issues.
"And that all depends on what happens with the world in terms of COVID, in terms of cargo ships, in terms of Brexit.
"All of these things are coming together to create a kind of perfect storm of miserableness when it comes to utility prices".